Judge declares mistrial in Baltimore police case; mayor calls for unity, respect

Posted at 3:24 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 16:02:48-05

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge says there is a hung jury in the case of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams announced Wednesday that the jury couldn’t reach its decision after three days of deliberations in the manslaughter trial of William Porter.

He was the first of six officers to stand trial on charges stemming from Gray’s arrest and death. The judge told the jurors they had “clearly been diligent” before he dismissed them.

As the decision was announced a handful of protesters gathered outside the courthouse.

Gray died after suffering a broken neck in a police van while handcuffed and shackled. An autopsy concluded his head was probably slammed against inside the van as the van turned a corner or stopped.

Prosecutors say Porter should have called an ambulance when Gray indicated he needed medical help, and should have buckled Gray’s seat belt.

Porter testified Gray didn’t seem hurt. He says he told the driver and a supervisor Gray wanted to go to a hospital.

Mayor calls for unity, respect after hung jury in Freddie Gray case

BALTIMORE (AP) — The mayor of Baltimore is calling for respect and unity after a mistrial was declared in the trial of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says “as a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process.” She says in the case of any disturbance in the city, authorities are prepared to respond.

Upon learning of the mistrial, protesters chanted “no justice, no peace” outside the courthouse.

After court adjourned, Officer William Porter conferred solemnly with defense attorney Joseph Murtha and walked from the courtroom. A female supporter joined Porter on a marble bench in a corner of the hallway. Courthouse deputies blocked reporters from approaching them.

Murtha declined comment, citing a judicial gag order. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who brought charges against six officers in the arrest and death of Gray, also declined comment.